The IMAX feature Mystic India: An Incredible Journey of Inspiration might not be as steamy as HBO's new series, Rome -- it's a family flick, after all -- but its visual pageantry, shown four stories high, can't be beat. The film, opening today at the Phipps IMAX Theater for an open-ended run, offers a spectacular look into the history, culture, landscapes and landmarks of India. The country comes alive through the true story of Neelkanth, a young eighteenth-century yogi who at the age of eleven set out on a seven-year, 8,000-mile spiritual journey across the ancient land.
As Neelkanth's journey unfolds, so does India herself, showing off breathtaking natural beauty, fascinating people and ornamented temples. And hold on for the re-creation of the Rath Yatra, or Festival of the Chariots, which required a DeMille-esque cast of 8,000 costumed extras, including hundreds required to pull Neelkanth's huge chariot. You'll have no choice but to give in completely to the film's cosmic vibe.
Admission is $6 to $8 (museum ticket packages are also available); for showtimes and ticket reservations, call 303-322-7009 or visit www.dmns.org. The Phipps IMAX Theater is in the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard. -- Susan Froyd
It's been suggested that Carl Hiaasen's breezy comic thrillers -- with their wacky, picaresque plots -- are best suited to the minds of middle-schoolers. After all, he's got all the right stuff to inspire and amuse the 'tween set: blithely confident protagonists, cartoonish bullies and eco-friendly story lines. Hiaasen understands this appeal, and his first kids' book, Hoot, a 2003 Newbery Honor Book, was a hoot. Now his second, Flush, is out, and surely will receive a royal welcome.
Join Hiaasen for a signing tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street; arrive at 6:30 for a free ticket. Call 303-436-1070 or visit www.tatteredcover.com for more info.-- Susan Froyd
Toast the final frontier at Fiske Planetarium.
Spacecraft surveying the moons of Saturn. Probes carrying Earth's contact information into the interstellar void. The ability to discover planets in other solar systems while sitting at a desk in a laboratory. It's not science fiction -- and neither is the importance of Fiske Planetarium, on the University of Colorado's Boulder campus. Since 1975, the institution has promoted the advancement and enjoyment of astronomy -- and put on some sweet laser Radiohead shows, too.
Tonight's Fiske Planetarium Thirtieth Anniversary Gala will help raise cosmic awareness as well as funds for a science museum in the planetarium's lobby. A buffet dinner will be served at 6 p.m., followed by the sale of framed photos taken by the Hubble telescope; at 8:30, singer Cherilynn Morrow, pianist Paul Cotugno and guests will perform as AstroJazz. There will also be a cash bar to splash down in, and donations will be gladly accepted. After all, thanks to folks like the Fiske crew, the universe has never seemed more accessible.
Admission is $60 in advance, $70 at the door; the concert alone is $35 in advance, or $30 at the door. Call 303-492-5002 or visit www.fiske.colorado.edu for tickets and information. -- Jason Heller
I Came, I Saw
Workshops for Women turns a female into Ms. Fix-It.
My husband is a contractor. My father is an excavator. My brother is a diesel mechanic, and my mother changes the oil, mows the lawn, puts up the drywall and has her own well-equipped toolbox. Me, I do nothing. I am absolutely not handy. It's partly because I have no patience, partly because my mother taught me a very important lesson: Never learn to do something you don't want to do for the rest of your life. I figure I paid my dues as a child, sorting nuts and bolts in my father's shop.
But for the past two years, my house has been a construction zone, and I realize that if I ever want my sanity back, I should get handy. I'm lucky that my family can teach me to nail and saw and cut. But for those women who don't have a mom like mine, Workshops for Women hosts weekly classes on basic remodeling and home repair. Start today with "What the Guys Never Tell Us," a crash course on power tools, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at 47 West Alameda Avenue. Next week, head over for "Finally Fixing that Hole," where you'll learn to patch drywall. Classes cost $50 to $75; register at www.workshopfor women.com or call 303-284-6354.
Sometimes you just have to give in. -- Amy Haimerl